Where to celebrate Pancake day in London

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Tuesday 13th February is no ordinary Tuesday – it’s Pancake Day! Which means it’s a great excuse to heat up the frying pan, put your flipping skills to the test and indulge in a stack of scrumptious pancakes. But if you don’t fancy cooking them yourself, there are plenty of cafes and restaurants close to The Hive where you can enjoy some of the best pancakes in town.

Where the Pancakes Are
Whether it’s breakfast, lunch or dinner, enjoy stacks of buttermilk pancakes all day long in a restaurant or at a pop-up shop dedicated to pancakes. There’s a special Shrove Tuesday menu available where you can choose from savoury favourites such as the Classic American, or keep it simple with sweet pancakes topped with lemon and sugar. And if that wasn’t enough, there’s even three-legged pancake races taking place!

The Breakfast Club
Fancy free pancakes? If you’re feeling competitive (and hungry), head to one of The Breakfast Club’s restaurants in London and take on their Pancake Day Challenge. If you manage to eat 12 pancakes in 12 minutes, you win and they’re free. But if you don’t, you’ll have to pay full price. However, The Breakfast Club will be donating the profits to their volunteering program Good Day Productions, so even if you lose you’re still helping a good cause.

The Diner
On a normal day at The Diner you’ll find delicious pancakes such as Blueberry, Banana and Choc-Chip to enjoy. But if that wasn’t enough, you can enjoy some special additions to the menu just for Pancake Day. From Oreo cookie pancakes to peanut butter and jelly pancakes, you’re in for a real treat down at The Diner.

And if you thought Pancake Day is just about eating pancakes, you’re wrong. There are a number of pancake races taking place across the city too. You can join in the fun yourself or watch as others – including MPs, Lords and political correspondents, compete to be best flipper.

Making friends in London

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Guest Blog

I am originally from Mexico City and moved to London last year. Moving to a different country isn’t easy, in fact I can tell you that it’s been the hardest thing I’ve ever done. I found myself in a city that was different to my own in every single sense; different language, different food, different transport system and completely different people.

After a short while of being in London, I started to miss absolutely everything from back home. It was cold and the sun was setting at 3:30pm – this was the British winter! My brain kept telling my body to put on my pyjamas and hibernate. I really needed to go out and meet new people, but I had never been faced with having to make new friends. I had always had the friends that I grew up with and now I was all alone in a new country without my friends.

One day I decided that enough was enough! That day I would go out and I would make a new friend. I headed to my local pub and started talking with a woman that was my mom’s age. She didn’t become my first friend, but talking to her was the stepping stone that encouraged me to always try to make a new friend and after that it just got easier.

Hectic class schedules, gym sessions, and just getting from one place to another can make meeting new friends in London one of the most challenging tasks during your stay in the city. We can blame it on technology, the millennials or even the weather, but it’s a miracle we get any time to meet people in London and make friends who actually do and like the things we actually like. So, if like me you find yourself wanting to meet new people, here are some things you can do that might help.

Talk to everybody
I know that this is probably something that your mom or your aunts do, but why not try having a conversation with someone that looks interesting? You never know where your future best friend is going to come from. Wherever you happen to be – queuing at the coffee shop, browsing the grocery store, waiting for an available washing machine, or dancing at a concert, start a conversation with someone around you. Trust your instincts on who to talk to and pick the right moment so that it doesn’t get creepy. It might be hard at the beginning, especially if you’re shy or not used to putting yourself out there, but like everything else in life, it gets easier with practice.

Don’t get discouraged if the other person is unresponsive or as cold as a penguin. After all, this is London and people here are used to keeping themselves to themselves. Here are a few conversation starters that could come in handy so you always have something to say to kick off a conversation:

The weather (yes, the British love to talk about the weather), complementing an item of someone’s clothing, recommending something relevant to the place where you are, randomly asking “where are you from?” (and asking follow up questions) and if you are very brave just go up to someone and say “You look like a very interesting and relatable person, I am new to this city and I was just wondering if you’d like to be friends.” Seriously, it’s just how kids do it!

Take a London tour
Get to know this city and find out everything it has to offer. Walking is the best way to truly get a sense of your new home and fall in love with it. There are free walking tours all over London, where groups of people are guided around the city. The people that you might meet here may be tourists, but it will give you the opportunity to practice and boost your confidence when talking to strangers.

Take a new class
One of the most amazing things about living in a huge and multicultural city is that classes for almost everything are available. Some of them are even free! You just need to go online and book. From pottery and cooking classes, to first aid and hair colouring, whatever you’re willing to learn, London is willing to teach and I can guarantee you’ll meet some of the most interesting and memorable people.

Join a sports club
Find a group or club who shares a physical activity you enjoy and become a regular member. Strike up conversations with other members and suggest meeting for coffee, wine, or beer after an event or meeting. For runners, for example, they have races that end up in social events like The Colour Run.

Volunteer
Why not make great friends and save the world at the same time? From dogs, kids, grannies or the homeless, there will always be a place in London that needs a helping hand. The hours can adjust to fit around your study commitments and whatever time you are willing to provide.

Talk to your neighbours
Have you introduced yourself to the people around you when you moved in? Sometimes the people we’re looking for are just next door. Have you reached out to your neighbours lately? If you see your neighbour walking in the corridor or courtyard, walk over and start a conversation. It’s always nice to know that there’s someone just around the corner that knows how you are. Why not make a little extra soup or an extra dozen cookies and walk them to the flat next door? The odds are that person is in the same situation that you.

Reach out on Facebook or other social media
When I first moved to London, I looked on Facebook for other people from Mexico. I remember I posted something about missing the tacos and missing my family. People reached out to me and gave me advice, restaurant recommendations and basically let me know that there is a whole community of people that look out for and understand each other. Through Facebook, you may discover some old friends or acquaintances that you didn’t know live nearby.

Eat dinner at the bar of your favourite restaurant
It can be intimidating to go to a restaurant by yourself, but try dining out and sitting at the bar instead. Chat to the bartender (if he/she isn’t too busy) and make conversation with the people around you. Whatever you do, don’t put your head in a book or your iPhone. Try to appear approachable and friendly.

Attend social events at The Hive
Throughout the year, there are a number of social events organised at The Hive, so that everybody can get to know each other. There will be reminders in the common areas so just pop by and start making new friends.

By extending yourself just a little, you might meet some wonderful new friends within a short walk of your home. Having fun with strangers can be a totally normal and fantastically pleasurable experience. Life is all about who you share your journey with. The memories and friends you make today will truly be a treasure when you’re older.

If you’d like to find out more about our student accommodation at The Hive for academic year 2017/18, please contact the onsite management team who will be happy to help.

Make The Hive your home this summer

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Exams done? University finished? It can only mean one thing… it’s summer time!

You’ve been busy working hard over the past few months and now it’s time to relax and have some fun over summer. So, what have you got planned? From shopping trips and picnics, to working and internships, there are many reasons why you might be in London over the summer months. And while you’re in the city, why not make The Hive your choice of accommodation?

Between 3rd July and 2nd September, we’re opening our doors to the general public – as well as students, and welcome you to stay with us for summer. We provide hassle-free, all-inclusive accommodation, which makes staying at The Hive the perfect solution for flexible and affordable London city living throughout the summer months.

So, if you stay with us at The Hive, what can you expect? Well, where do we start? How about a choice of luxurious Studio rooms all complete with their own private en-suite bathroom, study space and fully fitted kitchen? Meaning, after a hard day doing your thing in the city, you can cook up a storm in the kitchen, then kick back and relax in the comfort of your own space.

And for those days you want to socialise with others, you’re not restricted to your room. We have lots of communal areas for you to enjoy too. Grab a snack from the vending area, compete to become king or queen of the pool table in the games area, catch up with some work in the study area or watch some TV in the common room. But that’s not all. You’ll love taking in the beautiful views on The Hive’s landscaped roof terrace, especially as the sunsets – definitely worthy of an Instagram or two!

That’s the accommodation, now the location. Bustling with hip and ultra-trendy coffee shops, cocktails bars and eateries, The Hive is located in the heart of the ever increasingly popular Bethnal Green. And you haven’t far to go to explore other districts of the city, with the likes of Shoreditch, Brick Lane, Whitechapel and Aldgate all within close proximity. And when you want to get out and about in London throughout the summer, it’s quick and easy from The Hive, as we’re just a stone’s throw away from Bethnal Green underground station.

So, with a combination of luxurious rooms, modern social spaces and a desirable location, what’s not to love? We even provide free Wi-Fi for you to stay connected and up to date with what’s happening in the world!

If you’d like to find out more about our summer accommodation, or to book, please contact the onsite management team at The Hive, who will be happy to help.

Experience the magic of musicals in London

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If you’re fortunate enough to live and study in London – or perhaps you’re just visiting for the holidays, you’re never too far away from something new to do in your free time. And something definitely worth doing is watching a musical. So, if you’ve not yet seen one of London’s musicals then now is the perfect time as some of the best shows are currently in town. Here are just some of the top picks…

The Lion King
You’ve probably watched the animated film – or at least heard the story, so why not see The Lion King live on stage? Now in its 18th year at London’s Lyceum Theatre and one of the most successful pieces of entertainment world-wide, the award-winning musical adaptation of Disney’s The Lion King uses breath-taking costumes and special effects to tell the story of Simba’s journey to become King of the African Pridelands.

Phantom of the Opera
Take a trip to London’s West End and be mesmerised by The Phantom of the Opera; a timeless love story set in the Paris Opera House. Based on the Gaston Leroux novel, Andrew Lloyd Webber – arguably the most successful composer of our time, has turned it into a multi-award winning musical that captures the hearts and minds of audiences at Her Majesty’s Theatre in London.

Wicked
Think you know the Wicked Witch of the West? Think again. In the classic story, ‘The Wonderful Wizard of Oz’, Dorothy triumphs over the Wicked Witch – but there’s more to the story than you might know. Discover the incredible untold story of two young girls and how one came to be called ‘good’ and the other ‘wicked’ in the award-winning musical, Wicked, at The Apollo Victoria Theatre, London.

Aladdin
Another of Disney’s animated classics is adapted and brought to life on the West End stage in Aladdin. With extravagant costumes, a wonderful orchestra and all the songs from the film, follow the magical story about a young man – Aladdin, who discovers a genie in a lamp and is granted three wishes. What would you wish for?

Don’t fancy any of the above musicals? There are lots more to choose from in a variety of theatres across the city. And if you’re a student, check out StudentBeans before you book your tickets as you might be able to get a discounted rate!

At The Hive, all of our luxurious Studios come with beautiful en-suite bathrooms and fully fitted kitchens. If you would like to find out more about our student accommodation and living with us here at The Hive, please contact us today on +44 (0)20 3551 2550.

5 places to take a break from your studies in Bethnal Green

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It’s that time of year again – deadlines are looming and exams are fast approaching. You’re probably glued to the chair, with your head in a book and typing frantically at the computer to get the latest assignment handed in on time. Sounds like you need a break! Well, you’re in luck. Located within 11 minutes’ walk of our student accommodation at The Hive, you’ll find a variety of coffee shops and cafes to enjoy a coffee or a cake, and take a well-earned break. Here are just some of the places you can visit…

Café 338
An independent, family-owned restaurant serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, Café 338 is a family owned restaurant well known for its generous sized full English breakfasts. Here, all food is fresh and home-made, and you’ll find everything from bacon and eggs to pancakes and Paninis. So, the next time you need refuelling, pop down to this small but stylish café and we guarantee you won’t be left feeling hungry.

The Common E2
Not your average coffee shop, The Common E2 is actually a café and architectural studio combined. Here you’ll find photographers, architects, designers, performers, artists and the like working in an open and social environment. So why not pop in for a hot drink, pastry, cake or sandwich and take the opportunity to engage with others in the community and see designs develop in front of you.

Rinkoff Deli
There’s nothing more rewarding than the feeling of handing in an assignment you’ve been working hard on. And there’s nothing more satisfying than a tasty treat to celebrate. At Rinkoff’s – a family run business established over 100 years ago, you can spoil yourself with freshly baked cakes, pastries, rolls and breads. You can even sit outside and embrace the fresh air and sunshine.

Coffee Republic
If you’re after a more contemporary coffee shop with an acclaimed reputation then check out what Coffee Republic – one of the UK’s leading coffee chains, have to offer. If you want a warming drink or a bit of a boost to get you going, enjoy a coffee, tea or hot chocolate. Hot drinks not your thing? Don’t sweat, you can enjoy an ice cold drink instead!

Costa Coffee
And if none of the above take your fancy, then why not visit the nation’s favourite coffee shop – Costa. Whether your choice is a creamy latte, a luxurious Lindt hot chocolate or an intense espresso, take your pick and enjoy a quality hot drink in a relaxing atmosphere designed with you in mind. And if you’re feeling peckish fill up on a sandwich or indulge with a sweet treat.

Once you’ve taken time out from your studies and enjoyed a hot drink or a bite to eat, head back to your luxurious en-suite Studio at The Hive. If you would like to find out more about our accommodation and living with us here at The Hive, please contact us today on +44 (0)20 3551 2550 or email thehive@host-students.com.

Student travel in and around London

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As you settle into your new home at The Hive, you’ll probably want to get out and explore the city. Whether it’s a shopping trip, a catch up with friends or a spot of city sightseeing, jump on the London Underground and reach your destination.

But before you do, you might want to think about investing in an Oyster card. The Oyster card is a plastic, reusable pay as you go card which you can add credit to so you can easily hop on and off the tube without the need for cash and tickets every time you need to get around the city.

Plus, as a student, you can apply for an 18+ Student Oyster photocard and get 30% off the price of an adult fare. Visit the Transport for London website to find out more and to make a saving.

The Hive student accommodation London is ideally located close to Bethnal Green underground with surrounding districts of Shoreditch, Brick Lane, Whitechapel and Aldgate only a few stops away.  If you would like to find out more about living with us here at The Hive, please contact us today on 020 3551 2550.

Want to try a new hair-raising experience in London?

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With the 2016 summer Olympics about to kick off in Rio, it got us thinking about when the Olympics were held here in London, 4 years ago back in 2012. Along with the thousands of athletes that took part, supporters that visited and medals that were won, you might also remember a very striking and visual landmark that was developed to commemorate the occasion; the ArcelorMittal Orbit.

olympic-Built from 60% recycled steel and 114m in height, the ArcelorMittal Orbit stands as the UK’s tallest sculpture and offers stunning panoramic views right across London. From parks and waterways, to Big Ben and Wembley stadium, see it all and take in some of London’s most icon sites with a 360-degree view of the city.

But that’s not all, NEW for 2016, you can now experience the ArcelorMittal Orbit – and London’s skyline, like never before, by speeding straight down a super tunnel slide! The Slide is one of London’s hottest new attractions and in just 40 seconds, you can go from top to bottom of the world’s tallest – and longest (178m) tunnel slide. Why take the stairs eh?

What’s more, as a student you can get a reduced price ticket at a cost of just £12, which will give you general entry to the ArcelorMittal Orbit as well as your pass for the ride on The Slide. So, what are you waiting for? Find out more and book your tickets here.

Located less than 3 miles away from the ArcelorMittal Orbit, our London student accommodation at The Hive is comfortable, stylish and affordable, and provides an ideal location to carry out your studies whilst in London. To find out how you can join our thriving student community at The Hive please contact us today on 020 3551 2550 to arrange a viewing.

Why choose The Hive?

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When you’re searching for a holiday, you probably have an idea of the type of hotel you are looking for and a list of criteria that you want the destination to meet; is it close to the beach? Is there a swimming pool onsite? What’s the nightlife like? Well, the same goes for student accommodation. A big part of coming to university is about where you will be living. You will probably be looking for a comfortable and safe place to live, situated in a central location, close to university, transport links and nightlife. If that’s the case, then look no further!

Our student accommodation at The Hive is comfortable, stylish and affordable, and provides a home away from home for both international and UK students who are looking for a safe, friendly and secure community to base their London student experience. Let’s take a closer look…

Location
Bethnal-Green-UndergroundSituated just 2 minutes’ walk away from Bethnal Green’s Overground and Underground tube stations, and right on the doorstep of Shoreditch and the surrounding districts of Brick Lane, Whitechapel and Aldgate, The Hive is a much desired location for student’s studying in London. Queen Mary University of London is just 15 minutes away on foot, and others including City University, London School of Economics and University of the Arts London are only a short car or tube journey away.


the-hive-studioA space of your own
At The Hive, all of our rooms are en-suite studios; which means you’ll have your own private space to study, sleep, shower and cook. There’s plenty of storage and shelf space for your belongings, a large desk for you to knuckle down with your studies and there’s even a dishwasher – so they’ll be no more washing up!

Communal space
the-hive-commonWhile it’s great to get away and relax in your own private space, we understand that sometimes you will want to relax and socialise with your friends. That’s why The Hive offers plenty of common areas – both inside and outside, for you to get together. Catch up in our lounge, watch your favourite programmes in the TV room, work together in the study area, enjoy some fresh air in the courtyard, and you can even challenge one another to a game of pool!

the-hive-external-2-800x450Roof top terrace
If all of the communal space wasn’t enough, we also have a rooftop terrace for you to enjoy. When the sun’s shining, why not take a break from your studies – or take your studies outside, and revel in some amazing views of London while you work, right from our rooftop.

To find out how you can join our thriving student community at The Hive please contact us today on 020 3551 2550 to arrange a viewing.

6 quirky(ish) things to do in London before you graduate

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As a student living in London you will undoubtedly want to make the most of calling the best city in the world (we might be a bit biased) home.

Sure, you’ll visit the Tower of London and shuffle past the Crown Jewels. You’ll definitely spend some time dodging pigeons in Trafalgar Square and you absolutely, definitely will get down to Horse Guards Parade to see the changing of the guard. But wait… you are NOT a tourist. So, make like a native, get under London’s skin, step off the beaten track and discover some of the quirkier things you can do before you leave. That is if you leave, of course!

1. Find the stone nose of Admiralty Arch
Yep, there’s a nose on the wall near Trafalgar Square (the arch on the left if Nelson’s Column is facing you). The subject of many an urban legend it transpires that it was put there by artist Rick Buckley as a protest against the ‘nosey’ anti-crime cameras being installed in London in the 1990’s.

2. Wellcome Collection
London is home to arguably some of the best museums in the world. However the Wellcome Collection is a bit different – describing itself as the ‘free destination for the incurably curious’ it explores the connections between medicine, life and art in the past, present and future. Also home to the world famous Wellcome Library the quirky collection is well worth a visit. Find out more here.

3. Buy an umbrella in the past
James Smith and Sons is literally the shop that time forgot. Established in 1830 and, for the last 176 years has remained a family run business making and selling umbrellas. That in itself is pretty remarkable but it’s probably not until you stand outside, looking up at the untouched Victorian frontage that you will understand why this should be on your list of things to do. (Umbrella purchase optional!)

4. Live your own Night at the Museum
Many of the London museum’s run sleepovers for Adults, they can be a little expensive and are definitely a ‘London bucket list’ item. The Natural History Museum’s Dino Snores for Adults features an after-hours roam around the museum, three course meal, music, bars and an all-night monster movie marathon. How cool is that?

5. Abseil at Olympic Park
Calling all adrenaline junkies: how do you fancy abseiling from the top of ArecelorMittal Orbit? Not only is it the UK’s highest free fall abseil but you’re doing it from the UK’s tallest sculpture – that’s a pretty spectacular 2-for-1! For those brave enough to try this you’ll enjoy a phenomenal view of London dangling 262 feet above the city, there are not many people that can say they have done that! Find out more here.

6. Visit the oldest wine bar in London
Gordon’s wine bar has been watering the great and the good of London since 1890 and is still owned by the Gordon family. Located on Villiers Street in series of arches pretty much directly underneath Charing Cross station, you’ll need to get there early to grab a table inside but it’s definitely worth it. Where else in London can you drink a glass of wine, by candlelight, in a cage, in a cave…?

The Hive provides secure student accommodation in the heart of Bethnal Green. For more information please call us on +44 (0) 3551 2550 or book your viewing here.